How to make a new college community feel like home
There’s not a person alive who hasn’t had an experience when facing the difficult prospect of leaving behind something familiar. Whether you find yourself leaving college behind because it is over or you’ve just finished college and left your hometown for a new one, leaving a familiar place behind makes us all feel at a loss. In order to ease the transition, here are some proven strategies to help you make your new community feel like home.
Certain colors make us feel less alone, more secure and at ease, which is why switching colors (think from red to blue or black to white) will help you feel familiar and comfortable once you set foot on campus. For example, if you are comfortable wearing a bright red sweater, don’t pull it over your head and blend into your own crowd. Wear something that is gray, brown or purple instead, and you’ll feel less like an outcast and more like you belong.
It may be difficult for you to remember all the locations of where you’ve been, but don’t fret because once you go, the key to remembering locations is to keep close tabs on them. For example, put your college map near your dorm so you can refer to it at a moment’s notice. If you were recently moving out of your family home, keep an empty textbook, calendars and other handy reminders just in case you need them to re-establish contact.
Have a list
Even if you spend little time with your new classmates, remember to keep a list of the colleges and universities you know from home so you can easily find them later. On your new list, include names, buildings, telephone numbers and GPS locations so if you need directions you can hop on your phone in seconds instead of looking up and through a densely populated area. Consider making your phone caller ID complete with their first name, date of birth and current city because this will cut down on the number of confused calls you receive when you’re with friends on a date, going to a bar or just on the town.
Don’t feel left out
While you may have to build a new relationship with new people who are new to you, remember, it’s not your main goal to connect with all of your new classmates in order to make friends. The entire point of college is to gain practical knowledge, which you’ll be able to apply for and market professionally upon graduation, so avoid getting to know every single person on campus by making arrangements to meet them in student groups or having you socialize with them socially. Try to find your “S-curve” group, if you can, so that when you do meet someone you really like and get to know them, it’s at a more comfortable time.
Before you leave home, think about how you would choose to do things in your hometown and your future community, such as which products you would buy or which upcoming events or classes you would attend. This will help you distinguish what you need to do to feel at home there, and if you’re a part of a group of students, try to assign one of your own responsibilities to others to share with other classmates.